Oracle Support?

I had another interesting recovery operation a few weeks ago. We had a customer that was getting an error message when trying to open the database. The error was ‘file needs more recovery’. I think we have all seen that one before.
However, this was a slightly different type of problem. The customers database was not in archive log mode, and they were not and never had taken hot backups. They were taking only weekly cold backups.

The customer had very little Oracle experience, but they were paying for Oracle support. So they opened a Service Request with Oracle. In the SR they clearly stated that their production database was down. And they stated it more than once.

Of course, they also stated that the database was not in archive log mode. Perhaps Oracle didnt think they were serious? Even though production was down, Oracle did not make this a severity 1 issue, which I cannot understand. It met every requirement for a Severity 1 issue. In addition, Oracle support hemmed and hawed, first asking for substantial amounts of irrelevant information, including an RDA, etc. Over the course of a week, with the production database down, Oracle support neither raised this to a severity 1 issue, nor offered a single suggestion on how to get the database working. Evidently as far as Oracle was concerned, if the database was not in archive log mode, they did not have to find a solution.

After trying to work with Oracle support for a week, the customer called us in. I had an idea of a solution to the customer’s problem almost immediately of course, but to be safe, I first had the customer copy all of the Oracle database files in place, just in case I needed to take it back to the starting point.
Then I ran the following commands:

Sqlplus /nolog
Connect / as sysdba
Startup mount
Alter database open
(at this point I received an error that the undo tablespace needed more recovery)
So I ran this command:
Recover database;
Then I did:
Alter database open;
And the problem was resolved.

Oracle support evidently did not know that a recover command could be run on an instance that was not in archive log mode, or Oracle did not consider this customer a priority. In either case, this reflects extremely poorly on Oracle support.

9 Responses to “Oracle Support?”

  1. Tommy Says:

    That is horrible, Oracle tech support ignoring a production down system.

    They were lucky to have you.

  2. Rajesh Says:

    Hi Andrew,

    We are also facing the same issue as you mentioned in your weblog. We had used the simple opens as mentioned by you and the database was up and running. However, we are now getting this error frequently from the last 1 week.

    Can you suggest any solution for the same?

    Thanks in advance.

    • dbakerber Says:

      There are many possible reasons. The first thing you should do is look in the alert log and see if there are any messages about block corruption. Next, I would verify that you are using the shutdown immediate or shutdown commands and not the shutdown abort command.

      Also, make sure you are in archive log mode and have a good backup. After that. you will need to hire a consultant since that’s about all I can tell you without logging in and looking at it.

  3. Rajesh Says:

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for the updates.

    We are checking the alert log file. Infact, what we have done now is
    1) Created a new database with same database name (after deleting the old database).
    2) Exported the old data from old server
    3) Imported the .dmp to new server and newly created database
    4) Enteries created in Alert log again today morning at 11:39am our time was:

    Mon Nov 29 23:45:09 2010
    Errors in file e:\oracle\admin\xxxdb\bdump\xxxdb_lgwr_3316.trc:
    ORA-01110: data file 29: ‘E:\ORACLE\ORADATA\XXXDB\OCL_LR_IDX.DBF’
    ORA-01114: IO error writing block to file 29 (block # 1)
    ORA-27041: unable to open file
    OSD-04002: unable to open file
    O/S-Error: (OS 32) The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.

    We have rerun the recovery commands as mentioned by you earlier. Database got recovered at the moment.

    Just wanted to diagonse why the error is coming now.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.


  4. Rajesh Says:


    Another information you enquired was:
    We are using Shutdown immediate or Shutdown only

    We are using cold back method and so it is in no archive log mode


  5. dbakerber Says:

    The most common cause of that particular error is virus scanning software running against the file. Make sure that all oracle database and binary files are excluded from your virus scans.

    • Rajesh Says:

      Hi Andrew,

      That is really good suggestion. Yes, we got a similar response from one of our friend and we have temporarily disabled the Antivirus and from last 1 and half days we are not facing that error.
      Tomorrow, we are planning to up the antivirus software and exclude all Oracle files from virus scans.

      Thanks for the excellent response.

      Just for your information, I raised an SR with Oracle and the Oracle support personnel is asking me so many information and not able to come out with the solution suggested by you.

      Let us see if they suggests at something near to what you we have found.

      Thanks a lot,

  6. ranjan Says:

    can any one give mr complete guide for backup

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